The Battle of the Crater


In some time okay let's just hope that you know who their sits down a little faster this time yes the worst I mean you guys really think they need another extended intro Yemen intermission is pretty short and people need time to get more drinks Hello and welcome to citation needed live in New York City just in case only Stacey Abrams voter whose vote actually got counted give it up for no lucians you know what fair point helped me out of here finally Jesus guy to sit down right right I I only got recruited because I've been adorable name for my penis dixie cholera labels are we gonNA write a joke here but it seemed like a lost cause so I'm heath and somehow I've been chosen to host this episode about my direct ancestor watching allied dig a hole great question finally. He's Tom Your strapping young men come help me dig this thing no absolutely not Oh interesting this is going to be a good one and also joining me all the way from south Georgia anyone's new this is the podcast where we choose subjects read a single article about it on Wikipedia and pretend we're experts because the Internet and that's how it works now all right let's get right into it we already gave you some hints but let's make it official Eli what person place thing concept phenomenon or event not Li- already told you you don't need to do that Oh for goodness sake why see so because we're going to do this one live in New York City Robert e Lee One of his confederate victories. This'll be fun yeah great work it is no exaggeration to say that if the Union army could take Richmond they could end the war thus marking the first and last time Richmond Virginia I will whistle you all day and I only looked like a confederate soldier because of the beard and the uh-huh so I'm GonNa mostly shut the fuck up yeah and hand things over to my berry where the war is officially still at halftime they say we have the I panel of experts I we have three guys who look like the confederate army can you would matter it is picturing that conversation on the battlefield right I'm sweating just watching you as says I can't have shovels anymore nothing with a handle is his thing now that's a rural trump come on guys yeah it's great for Halloween loosen and I just put the Stacey Abrams signed back on the lawn battle of the crater this episode the last stand of the civil war what better place to do it from then a scarred empty Pitney earth for the last I JV squad. He's Louis Lion Tom going to be talking about today today we'll be talking about the battle of the crater excellent and Noah you could see at least twenty confederate flag so what was the battle of the crater all right so the battle of the crater was an infamous military blunder during the American civil war in which the Union army blue I really need to watch that movie I don't think I'm doing it right it is essential we'd take Richmond and you keep saying that I think we have the manpower the Logistics and the tactical advantage right you don't strike ah I said there's a there's a bunch of guys rest into a tight whole waiting to shoot Yup. US military some things never change obviously this left the Union army salivating over at the only problem was that weapons tech was moving a hell of a lot quicker than vehicle tech at that point and the confederate army was already eggs from your house at any given by Georgia state law are you ready to see talk I am Sir Rail Lines all converging right there on their way over the APP matic's so basically everything being shipped from the south to Richmond has to make its way through exactly this spot four but it's just not clear how long that's GonNa take how many people are going to have to die to make it happen the confederacy is on the brink of collapse and one of their last remaining strongholds is Richmond Virginia I know I know it's just what we're just after we take it how long until we can give it back a couple of months giant hole in the ground climbed into it and waited for someone to shoot the puck if you've seen the movie cold mountain this is the battle is depicted in the opening scene of that movie and if you've seen the movie brokeback mountain is just kind of like getting fucked in the ass similar in many ways are there well you know how much the south likes to surrender the confederates just didn't WanNa be capitulate Oh yeah yeah all right so this story takes place in July eighteen sixty four more than three years into the war by now it's pretty clear that the US is going to win this little known facts we were all just a motive alligators away from losing this shot him in the legs yeah so trump staten island yes exactly exactly just through safe if Jersey tries to go back this is an hour that whereas under your seat so I just grabbed fine you get a joke all right so one of the things that makes the civil war so interesting to me we loaded up with formidable defences on all sides he's got zigzagging trenches with interlocking fields of fire that surround the entire city all the brush all the covers been removed the city was completely surrounded by military forces. Well we actually have here's an early example of trench warfare they just didn't have a name for that yet so grant's forces push against the city the city up against entrenched positions and if you know anything at all about World War One this is a problem that military theorists still wouldn't have solved fifty years later you make it sound like some kind of complicated equation that no man's land then planting explosives beneath the confederate trenches that you hit your cartoon dynamite plunger you poke your fingers in your ears and you wait for a hold of blow up Henry pleasants so he comes up with an idea how they can break this week's long gridlock turns out pleasants was a minor before the war and he proposes digging along mineshaft under the part of the north forever right so yeah pin in that in an plan and they like ran into Wayne Cross oh hey oh I like hundreds of yards in front of all these trenches and they replaced all of that by crazy defenses like medieval type shit like spiked logs and stuff so but in the enemy line unfortunately it would not work out as well for him as it did for the venerable Wiley Coyote a really hoping both sides tried that same yeah I did say now I heard it I don't know what direction to lie yeah not clear no okay Mamba suggests not lining up your troupes like connect four peace now of course he's direct ancestor Robert e Lee ah excellent excellent to to decide on slave exactly this is how we'll decide slavery it's one of the first major wars in the rapid fire era where both sides of the conflict have access to rapid technology right so machine guns wouldn't be invented for a couple of through the Union army tries to take Petersburg the confederate army says Nah on this is this results in what's called the siege of Petersburg now this is not technically a siege which would late means to surrender what how I saw that in the notes and I couldn't even tell where the joke was you'll find us I'm fifty eight named that'll best fit into a civil war essay honoree and he says hey what the fuck why not and he tells pleasant to make it happen interesting side note by the way burnside seconds but there are already various proto machine guns use the gatling gun was invented early on in this war so basically all the generals in the army were having to deal with whole new problems when they went all right so pleasants proposes this to Major General Ambrose e Burnside's polk county high school's class of ninety wanted to build would have been the largest military engineering project in history okay hold on they failed to dig a tunnel that was one tenth of five hundred hundred feet the whole might of the Union army couldn't dig a tunnel from my porch to somewhere around the middle of the back yard you're just like I guess a little bit for a while that'll show him leaving so among the union soldiers there's a dude named Lieutenant Colonel You're now about twenty five miles south of Richmond there's a city called Petersburg during the war that's a critical transportation hub so you've got nine different roads five different they can either we both agreed to just fill it back in right or roller derby apparently not no so all that being said the troops were getting restless and trench warfare has a way of making soldiers recognized the futility of what she's back and ultimately you end up with both sides of the army entrenched along a twenty mile front this is stalemated for weeks like this House that was the best part is you attack you lose the they're doing yeah because up until now the civil war had been going so you've been having a lot of fun yeah civil yeah just the giant beard minus the chin part like slice right out old-timey soared he looks like cease a loss to really weird bet. Yeah you guys digging other tubes me Oh what you're saying hey buddy story you go you know you go first what what so this is awkward question they have the same percentage risk getting shot so a bunch of black soldiers actually want had to help out but Joe Biden wouldn't even send a bus restoring true story he might be president also see so's wife is just really strong crazy strong raced she's been doing interval training her zero logistical support he will not even send those mother fuckers shovel so so they were given the same amount of supplies as a modern public day school teacher I've got all right so me gets a hold of the plan he's skeptical first of all he apparently hates the ever loving cow to burnside's probably just jealous of his suite chic Puke this won't work but at least this'll give the soldier something to do to keep them from getting super antsy so he agrees to burnside's plan but and this is important he offers exactly yeah he lives slept inside of them like sadly in real life I lost that bet the dignity to be five hundred feet long and the Union army had tried a similar stunt with a mine shaft one tenth that length and it puck and collapsed the mind pleasant no not one hundred percent care promised twenty twenty is literally the guy that we named sideburns true looks like a hair tonton he's he's the best at the time right where to God no if this starts with another history of digging I'm leaving I delete delete L. Yeah related to grant it's true yeah yep saint ties it's so of course Lee knows exactly how important Petersburg is he said no one's coming to save us on national never mind go you're talking about the civil war I'm talking about the first there's this processes made all the harder because the bucking commander wouldn't give them wheelbarrows US guys papa chimney up every so often and that gives you a source of fresh air but as dumb as the confederacy was they probably would have noticed a series of breathing tube popping ever closer to their line so these guys had to come up with something else confederate soldiers just sitting there and a periscope pops up the eye winks and then it goes right mm-hmm or whatever naturally inclined to shit on anything that burnside suggests but to his credit he also had good reasons to be doubtful the tunnel pleasants hundred feet and by July seventeenth right below the confederate trench works you guys can feel the fuck contention right now at this point they form a tea with the mind so they can blow up a wider Thomas Super Curious and also because it was actually a really amazing feat of engineering especially when you consider this was all done with improvise tools by people who are being shot at I'm sure all right so the biggest problem you encounter when you're trying to dig a tunnel this link this ventilation right so as you move further and further into the it right out of the Ken Burns Documentary Yeah so much better so now what pleasant came up with was actually pretty ingenious so basically you have what do you see soldier nothing surges another flirty worm sorry what it's actually like the whole movie tremors were just of course the other big issue they faced was the Andy Frayne problem right so they're trying to do this in secret so they can't exactly have this giant expanding pile of dirt right behind there channels are just trying to find out you know it's like you had to sell extra axles more bodies not true you would think this kind of thing would only have to happen once on either side before we need from you now is a fuse got it okay you can have eleven feet of yarn that's fine the Tim Ryan unexpected comeback toy that's a fresh late that's what that is I'm winning you over I'm winning you over all right I'll leave so despite several problems in the construction and supply shortages so great that they literally had to dismantle Wooden Bridge to secure enough timbers to hold up mind you're moving away from your source of oxygen and your exhaling a bunch of carbon dioxide so if you dig far enough suddenly you're GonNa have as fifty eight now normally the solution is just got it we just dig a hole and buried the dirt okay no I heard it I said out loud accent sorry it's actually more like nine feet we played Cat's cradle I wanNA play so we're in a war he's back out right and that actually creates a vacuum that pulls fresh air down into the tunnel and creates a noticeable breeze form as well replenishing air with fire swath of Petersburg's defenses and once that cavity is fully excavated they fill it with thousands of pounds of gunpowder there's there's out one really excited for him in the back that's so in spite of not having basic tools supplies and constantly being under fire we dug a secret bomb tunnel filled with explosives behind enemy lines no it's fine I'll make my own tools don't get up I'll just be winning the war you got napper whatever you call it's fine so eventually they make it to five. The solution to the problem was a flaming snorkel fan told you he'd be into this engineering all right suspense anything here we got the union soldiers got thank you tension the union soldiers advanced in the wake of this blast but they'd soon ah now recalls are never as good and it just so I wanna go into a little bit of detail in the construction of the mine itself wooden hype that funnels fresh air into the tunnel and an a shaft with fire burning and it's based it's going to heat up all the stale air that's deep in the tunnel and that's going to cause that to rise hours of July thirtieth eighteen sixty four pleasants lit the fuse detonated what may well have been the largest explosion a human beings would create aw but burs is men to their credit they spliced that shit together they made a really long daisy chain of fuses to make this work okay Sir waterproof fuse for his operation what needs sent him was a shit ton a ten foot long non waterproof uses and a note that said Fuck your face like Gimme a team we gotta Dave shut the fuck up I it's a fucking not yes the worm break first of all for nothing find out that they'd used eight thousand pounds of gunpowder to dig their own grave dont`a heaven Sign back then too yeah so burnside a requested several links of hundred foot no I guess that explains the people out front of the pit with Tiki torches channing whose I am telling you you are wasting your time exactly hey guys why yeah those are good job good job shit did sign on his own joke I love it now of course me if figures like you know what un-elected they had bridge dismantling tools but they didn't have shovels because this just seems passive aggressive now it's like no the body armor well I'm honestly not even sure just kind of guessing they also sent a case of duct tape wallets virtually the duct tape we asked for the bottom twelve percent of last year's graduating class and they did send that way we asked for that yes sir we did we call them recruits detailed report of the supplies on hand each of the five hundred assault rifles yes sir well not exactly but they sent the next best thing appea- what about the helmets what about the body armor that we ordered okay they sent melons and melon Baler for the helmets and product Smith kid over here yes sir I needed went fourteen super soldiers and twelve cap guns with caps not with caps I don't understand it inches so they actually had to carry dirt several miles behind the line and then when they got there they would like stick brushing shit over the top of it so that no spies would notice anything Amiss and Oh right yeah the tanks we got shopping carts with bayonets taped to the front is there anything that we asked for that they did send yes sir streets are okay or maybe they thought that big Red Statue at the bow tie was a confederate general. EITHER WAY WE'RE GONNA take a quick you want me to read that off to you again I do not private what the hell are we supposed to do with super soldiers they suggest that we fill them with all right. This is how will decide though we barely so in the breed on okay it's official Noah did in fact use a confederate victory for this his show thought there might be a twist sounds clear jealousy tonight loved on people like explosions leaving nothing but the shadows of children let's hear it all right you fucked up my tension by the way you plus up my spring break I remember I was doing boys. Awards are pretty cool sketch sketch sketch duct tape waltzer treasure okay private what about the tanks until we dropped the atomic fucking bomb really big fantasy got some got some fans of off the Union army had just set off giant bomb and started running towards it and the confederate lines and we're back when we left Idea Rita fucking phonology book second camera but there was one exception so burnside at one entire division under his command that hadn't seen any real battle in the entire ward of this point so in the modern day Aaron die in the mud but guy say so I guess I'll stay back here fuck your wives literal slave owners so there was this widespread fear among the Union generals that black soldiers weren't brave enough or tough enough or smart enough or whatever to be income attack now that's actually a bit of a problem because pretty much all of his regiments have been constantly fighting since the siege began at this point months earlier so none of them were in the state of the what happened they're gonNA start rationing and reinforcements to this spot and the union soldiers are going to have to secure these trenches before that happens so one brigade supposed to go left at the explosion one so here's what here's what Burns I'd had in mind after they detonate the explosion two brigades rush the line the confederacy is going to be stunned for a bit but as soon as they realize born child and I'll take the joke back exactly all right well we already lost the zip-lining audience I guess trade from further away it makes tracks that tracks so as Tom has lost the camera bat positions so throughout the war they were largely relegated to menial tasks behind the lines black soldiers just like I really really want to get out of there in general just feel my skull dimples I'd have no idea what to do burnside to forego using the troops that have been trading for this shit for weeks and instead give the job to white soldiers and the white guys we kind of think of racism as pushing African American soldiers to the frontlines but it turns out it can also push him to the rear which is what happened in the Union army put the black guys in the rear they competitive it's next all right so I have to back up in the time line a little bit so the whole time the soldiers were digging this unprecedented tunnel burnside's job is to prepare for the post complete deploy and by civil war standards of regiment that still ought to half its limbs was fucking crush the younger years in yeah animal dressed in white face just throw the whole thing on right he spent weeks with these soldiers several miles way behind the line so that the confederate army wouldn't wind like get wind of this coming attack and he gave them very specific instructions on how to uh-huh so burn scientists grant though when he looks at this division he sees fresh troops eager for a chance to prove path so as Tom has just aptly demonstrated we have to remember these guys were only progressive. Compared to that you'd want for a major assault I'm gonNA guess they were a little worn out from digging a fucking tunnel using brooms of sawed off legs have rights right literally fifteen hours before their scheduled the light the fuse need decides to make a change to burnside's battle plants he doesn't WanNa use this black regiment so he ask because they got killed by their boyfriends in a fight after an imagine dragons concert the army so here's his story goes horribly horribly wrong okay on just thousands shoot the fuck out of some slave owners so he sets about training them for the attack by modern standards training they got was pretty lacklustre but by civil war standards it was really fucking good Paul Course and take it too seriously until he killed his girlfriend and then himself what you show me a paintball or who doesn't murder his wife and his her was that he was worried that if this attack went bad they would accuse the north of using black soldiers as cannon fodder which would be a huge propaganda victory for the south honestly okay so there's a lot of disagreement about why mead made that decision there are three main schools of thought the first is that meat is just a racist and didn't want to trust important mission to black soldiers important now it's important fifty out minutes ago we were like Oh you know these guys the camera committed suicide fucking quit care matter can quit I don't want to be associated with this it goes right on the other side once they've done that two more Brigades pour into the center and take Petersburg see nowadays burnside's would have to like work at a pain that's how we train the police department off Checkout Ferguson Missouri onto believe so the second is that he didn't want to trust such an important missions to soldiers that had never actually been in battle and the third in the one that made tried to sell himself losing the battle because you're unprepared also great propaganda for actually as it turns out I think losing a battle to the enemy is generally good for the energy right yeah exactly tricky system all right buck that show the day of the battle comes the plan was to detonate the explosion between three thirty and three forty five am but I would like to know how he was a known coward right business card high known cower. We don't need business cards spliced together a bunch of sweet M. Eighties in the neighbors trash can looks like something amazing is going to happen now this is important like I said only one theory hard to some a all right it's all right so eventually they managed to get the view sorted out and the charges are wrapped up four forty four am the gunpowder was only about twenty feet below the confederate defenses in its Tam so that all the force goes up the explosion kills two hundred and seventy eight confederate soldiers immediately and left a crater doc great a lot of visual humor for the podcast thank you Eli regardless of the reason bad enough apparently burnside didn't give clear orders to Leslie or his men as to what the hell they were supposed to be doing I think he was just comfy at this point booking soldiers they're like yeah that's great but here's out we just invented something called affirmative action now where they're going to get woke so when the time came they basically just new they were supposed to go like forward so as prepared as Hillary Clinton's campaign manager Channels like look there's a change of plans were sending these five Koala bears with Dole pencils okay at least that way fewer people got killed because of their liquorice rope of uses that didn't happen in fact nothing it all happened when they lit the fuse and they spend an hour and fifteen minutes arguing about which unlucky excuse me campaign manager yeah you gotTa keep in mind how many electoral deaths are going to happen and how the fuck back I even still had his job as a mystery he was a known alcoholic and coward he was profoundly incompetent and he wasn't even an important persons kid wave of attack they wouldn't send hats had to be a skull so the Navy pulls out of this skull was Brigadier General James Leslie One hundred and seventy feet long a hundred feet wide and thirty feet deep which is still visible today we actually have a member audience who's been there whereas yet yeah right over here yeah burnside polls this highly trained division and instead of handing the assignment to his next best guy he literally draws names from a fucking hat to see who gets to lead this the also their boss's boss but apparently that to them even from before the battle started we're spending all their time sending increasingly irate messages to each other about whose fault this he's right there you can hear you can tell me

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